Feds Boost Funding for Cybersecurity, Offer New Resources for SMEs

The latest federal budget promises just over $1 billion in funding to shore up Canada’s cybersecurity, and a government agency has published new resources to help small and medium-sized organizations prevent cyberattacks.

On April 7, the Government of Canada tabled its latest budget, which pledged $875.2 million over five years, and $238.2 million ongoing, to address “the rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape.” The funding announcement came amid growing concerns about Russian state-sponsored cyberattacks.

The following week, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (the Cyber Centre) released updated resources to help organizations plan for and respond to cyberattacks.

Funding to Support the Communications Security Establishment

Much of the new funding announced in the federal budget will go toward the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), a government agency that aims to protect Canadians from cyberthreats, including attacks carried out by foreign actors.

The government committed $263.9 million over five years, and $96.5 million ongoing, to bolster the CSE’s abilities to launch cyber operations and defend against cyberattacks. The feds also committed $180.3 million over five years, and $40.6 million ongoing, to enhance the CSE’s ability to respond to cyberattacks on Canada’s critical infrastructure.

Another funding announcement included $252.3 million over five years, and $61.7 million ongoing, for the CSE to make critical government systems more resilient to cyberattacks.

The government is also investing in cyber research, promising $17.7 million over five years, and $5.5 million thereafter until 2031-32, for the CSE to fund academic research. Researchers who are awarded grants will split their time between peer-reviewed publishable research and classified research into technologies relevant to the CSE’s activities, according to the budget document.

The feds pledged an additional $178.7 million over five years, and $39.5 million ongoing, to enhance the cybersecurity of small departments, agencies and Crown corporations.

New Resources for SMEs

On April 11, the Cyber Centre, a federal government agency, updated its cybersecurity resources for small and medium-sized organizations.

The resources include various publications from the Cyber Centre and the Government of Canada aimed at educating organizations about cyber risks, as well as tips for preventing, detecting and responding to a variety of cyber incidents.

Notable tools include a Learning Hub for SMEs, a cybersecurity Certification Program, a Repository of Scams and Fraud and Incident Response Plan Guidance, among others.

Learn More About Cyber Risks at Our ID&T Expo

To learn more about preventing cyberattacks and other tech-related topics, join us at our inaugural Innovation, Data & Technology Expo, taking place at the Fort Garry Hotel & Conference Centre in Winnipeg from May 25 – May 26.

The two-day event, presented in partnership with Tech Winnipeg, will feature seminars, interactive workshops and networking opportunities with the lawyers from our ID&T group. We’ll offer practical tips on how to proactively manage the ID&T risks your organization faces and give you the chance to meet with industry peers. We hope to see you there!

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.